Best Of :: Shopping & Services
Just because Total Wine is a chain with 55 locations nationwide doesn't mean it's anything less than a tribute to the glory of booze. Walk into any one of its five South Florida locations and you'll find a playground for adults — albeit an expertly categorized and impeccably labeled one. Wines from every imaginable region are separated by country and varietal, so despite there being more than 8,000 bottles on hand, it's easy to find gems like a $17 bottle of critically acclaimed Terredora Falanghina (just head to the Italian section). Equally extensive is Total Wine's selection of beer: peek through the by-the-bottle collection of craft beer and you may come away with rarities like Brother Thelonious, a dark, strong Belgian ale that pays tribute to the late, great jazz pianist. Or check out the packaged section, where you'll find deals like a six-pack of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA for less than $10 (most places sell the four-pack for as much). The bargain-bin prices extend to the enviable catalog of spirits, entire walls packed with hundreds of vodkas, gins, tequilas, and more. And as if to prove that no taste can be too refined, Total Wine caps it all off with a 12-foot section of the cheapest damned boxed wine you can find anywhere. Now that's a store that has all its bases covered.
In better economic times, you shopped differently. You felt quality transcended quantity. Nowhere else was this more apparent than at your local adult video store. It was there, in that high-ceilinged, well-lit den of sin that you slapped wads of dead presidents on the counter in exchange for Debbie's misadventures in Texas, Marilyn Chambers' cultish crossover, and, of course, the musing romps of Bimbo Cheerleaders From Outer Space. But now might be the time to explore the bargain bin at Tropixxx. More a fetish graveyard than a fertile garden of potential climax, this collection of castaways is priced in a way befitting our current recession. Five dollars will get you (VHS) videos of feet squishing ground beef, feet squishing green Jell-O, or even feet squishing mashed potatoes. Now, a smart shopper appreciates bargains, and because you are the smartest shopper around, you'll stash these treasures away like a perverted squirrel waiting for winter and give them out next holiday season to your nearest and dearest. Imagine the joy they'll get unwrapping that $3 copy of Tijuana Madness; it might not be high-brow, but the price is right, and in these tough times, that alone is pretty damned sexy.
If youre unlucky enough to need one of the body shop services, its tough to weed out the fly-by-nights from the real pros. Chassis Master is definitely one of the latter. Staffers are superpolite, they know how to handle insurance companies, and most important, theyre superb craftsmen who can turn a crumpled wreck into a work of beautifully contoured art, often making it look better than it was before the accident. And they might just save their recession-beaten customers a few bucks on having to buy a new car.
First off, I'm sorry I haven't written in so long — I just haven't found anything really juicy and crush-worthy to share until today. I was wandering along, underwhelmed by my shopping options, certain that I would never open my heart again, and that's when it winked at me. Jezebel. With its pink trim and dazzling window display, it drew me in like a tractor beam. I've always heard that's how love happens, but I never thought it would happen to me. If I could, I would marry the shop, move it into my home, and merge assets. It understands me. Upon first fondle, I found racks and racks of adorable vintage dresses, negligees, and skirts. Boxes were stacked high and filled with '50s gloves and embroidered hankies. And if I discuss the collection of candles, home goods, and shiny things, I might just break down with emotion. I took home mementos of our first date: Now my scrapbook is filled with bacon Band-Aids and pictures of my new, ultrafeminine wardrobe. Jezebel assured me that it's been awaiting my arrival for more than 20 years, and now that we've connected, I'm never letting it get away. I'm no longer seeing other boutiques. My wallet is off the market. I promise to write soon!
Less than four years ago, this Starbucks opened between two locally owned and vastly superior coffee shops — Stork's and Java Boys. Since then, the corporate storefront has been competing for one-third or more of Wilton Manors' coffee dollars and waiting for the competition to fold. Before Starbucks, the property housed a charming little café that served a perfect salmon Florentine breakfast and good booze at night. And before that, it was home to another neat breakfast joint, Health Nuts Cafe, and two pubs (one English, one Irish). All of these places enhanced the neighborhood and helped make Wilton Manors the quirky, lovable town it is today. By feeding our dollars to the wholly unnecessary Wilton Manors Starbucks, we help make this town more bland, more like every place else. So stop spending money there. Right now.
Remember the old-school brown skates from your childhood days at the roller rink? Recall the disco ball and the Moonlight Skate? Remember how they always trucked in cases of beer and liquor... Hey, wait a second! That nifty little addition has only been part of the skating experience since the Intoxiskate party launched under the radar a couple of years ago. A $5 entry fee (and $2 skate rental) gets you six hours (!) of rink time, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. And games at 11! But wait! That's not all! The weekly party is fun enough, but in a spectacular bonus that could be matched only by a set of Ginsu knives, the peeps behind Intoxiskate kick things up a notch with a themed blowout once a month. For Saint Patrick's Day in March, there was a Beer Pong tournament; in April, the cause célèbre was Underwear Night. (Yes, it is what you're thinking: Sexy people. In hot pants. On wheels.) The most remarkable part of all this? Organizers report that even with partygoers fueled by vodka and Hokey Pokey, injuries are no more frequent than your average, sober roller-skating casualty rate. Amazing!